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About chelseabelsea

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    washington,dc- NOT in politics!
  • Interests
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Oceania, Uniworld
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. So here’s the thing...when we are on an elegant Oceania ship filled with beautiful decor and beautiful art, we choose to dress casually but nicely, meaning, not blue jeans at dinner, not even designer. Will I do, however, a Jean style dress pant - a five pocket pant- in black velvet? Yes. With an elegant blouse and nice jewelry. Will I wear a jean style pant on ponte on the last night? Yes, I will...with dressy jewelry and a black turtleneck. My experience has been that the staff not only appreciate the effort, but usually comment positively, and as one told me, it reflects our appreciation for our surroundings and the experience that Oceania provides. Please don’t get me wrong, I do NOT want the formal gown thing, my husband does NOT want to deal with a tux- too many years of doing so both at home and on travel. Choosing to be respectful and not sloppy is our personal choice. I’ve never seen ANYONE turned away other than a couple that came back from a day ashore in muddy hiking pants and sneakers. In summary, be who you are, be your authentic comfortable selves while being neat (clean) and respectful (no muddy clothing) and enjoy the cruise 😁
  2. Hello, fellow O fans, My husband and I have a Nautical cruise next year that stops at Ha Long, serving as the gateway to Hanoi. For those of you that have visited this area with Oceania, is there a specific tour your recommend? Any and all advice would be most appreciated. Thank you!
  3. LHT28, holy smokes what a terrible experience! I am so sorry you went through that. . . Just awful! When not on Oceania, I have learned that starting the transaction with an explanation that I am not interested in buying any products, that I can buy the online once back home, and I don’t have luggage room- all of which always has the benefit of being true. I have even stated that it stresses me to get a sales pitch, and I am there to relax. Most staff, including Steiner, respect my statements; I just hate having to go through that soliloquy. Shouldn’t have to, actually. i have enjoyed reading everyone else’s thought and perspectives on this topic!
  4. Personally, I take this as very bad news! Allow me to explain; first, I must say that I, too, found the continuous price increases for Canyon Ranch annoying and eventually it got to the point where I purposefully limited my amount of spa services each cruise. The prices finally eclipsed those at my local Red Door spa here in Washington DC, which is quite expensive. Having said that, I must say that I found the massage therapists onboard with CR to be outstanding, and most cruises I was on, there was at least one CR team member who was cross- trained as a physical therapist. I had consistently stellar Canyon Ranch spa experiences (and interactions with CR staff) for the last 12 years that we have been sailing with Oceania. Anyways, the reason I think this is bad news is based on our experiences from many years ago when RCCL purchased Celebrity, then changed out the spa teams - and the sales ethos changed, as well. The Steiner spa crew got VERY pushy with selling products, and that was a harbinger of things to come. After that move, we noticed the RCCL influence in downsizing Celebrity waitstaff, which meant service went downhill in dining venues and bars. Next up, ship maintenance across Celebrity noticeably declined. Celebrity eventually went so far downhill that we quit sailing with them altogether. This is the basis for my reaction to this news- I was fearful that NCL would similarly ruin Oceania. We are O devotees, with more than 20 cruises on the books. I really, really hope I am wrong, but I am concerned about this being the first big negative change, and I pray we won’t see more à la RCCL/Celebrity. Just my two cents, folks....submitted with all due respect for everyone else’s opinions 😊
  5. I’d like to thank all of you who took the time to share your experiences and information, I have truly found it so helpful. I definitely want to try Crystal thanks to all of you!
  6. Hi all, just back from a Silversea cruise, and very disappointed with service and with poor selection of wines and spirits onboard. What puzzled my husband and I was that the liquor selection was quite limited, and the better quality bottles were hidden out of sight below the bar level. Cheap liquor was on display. I found this to be strange and tacky, as it forced passengers to continuously ask what other selections were available. (Oh, and not all venues had the same choices). Another strange thing: allegedly, according to the advertising brochure for Silversea, we should have been able to have a bar setup in our cabin with spirits of our choice. The only thing we requested was 1 bottle of vodka, and after making three requests, a bottle of inferior vodka appeared in our cabin. (By inferior, I mean something I would have been able to afford while working my way through college 😊) The selection of included wines was hit and miss, and the selection of wines for purchase was surprisingly limited. Restaurant and bar service were stunningly poor to mediocre, food ranged from blah to excellent, with no consistency in service of quality of food across the dining venues. Overall, it was not the elegant experience with terrific choices that we expected, which was quite disappointing. We actually found the whole thing bizarre, especially given the Silversea advertising. We have sailed a multitude of times with Oceania, where I can have a wide range of choices for wines and spirits. I do not mind having to use a key card each time I want a drink, because I can choose from a good selection of high quality. I do not find having to use a key card to buy a drink “tacky”, it does not make the ambiance less enjoyable. The drink prices are consistent with what we pay at home, as we live in a big city - and they are always less than one pays at a Ritz Carlton resort. So having given you this context, I would like to ask seasoned Crystal cruisers if you could please describe the offerings on Crystal, and do you pay extra for premium spirits? Is the wine included with dinner limited to one or two choices each day? Have you found consistently good, well trained service in dining and bar venues? I have my eye on a Crystal cruise, but I’m hesitant now to go with an all-inclusive cruise given our recent experience on Silversea. Of course, Crystal is a different product, I’m just trying to figure out if, from the industry perspective as a whole, does all inclusive really mean more restricted choices? I thank you in advance for sharing your experiences.
  7. Wow, my warmest thanks to all of you for your responses! I loved the picture- and had a good laugh at the thought of yes, perhaps a smoke filled LBD with hot oil spills isn’t *quite* the look I was going for 😂 I’m relieved to know they can cook my steak for me! Again, I thank all of you for sharing your wisdom....
  8. Hello, all, my husband and I are looking forward to our Silversea cruise May 22; we have sailed many, many times, however, never on Silversea. I have noted with interest discussions regarding dress code, and I absolutely do not mind bringing my gown for formal night! Having said that, I would appreciate gentle guidance on evening wear, specifically, should I expect to see a lot of sequins and jewels on non-formal nights? Cocktail dresses? If we are dining at The Grill, will I be out of place if I am wearing a LBD and high heels? I like to dress for evening, however I don’t want to be totally out of place, even in the casual venues. I thank you in advance for any wisdom you can bestow upon me!
  9. Ahhh....it’s so good to have these first world problems, folks....🤣😁
  10. Lima to Papeete January 2018; you couldn’t make this up: we had a noro outbreak on Marina. Oceania did all the right protocols, etc, etc. Day three of the situation where EVERYONE had been informed multiple times that we there had this problem...out on the pool deck...some guy walks up to the bar, bartender had stepped into back room...guy opens jar of olives, STICKS HIs HAND IN and scoops out a bunch of olives! Then he Closes the jar...gets challenged by another passenger as to why/can’t do that...his response? “Doesn’t matter, I’m not sick” Holy hell. . . THEN, I see, over the course of the next several days of the cruise, several women use the public restrooms, then leave without ever having washed their hands. Not even using hand towels to open doors. Stunning ignorance - or is it stunning irresponsibility? Arrogance? As we used to say where I worked, “you can build in a lot of procedures to counteract human error, but each year we also seem to have an Infinite supply of clueless humans!”
  11. There is another thing to consider; on a private tour, we learned (November 2017) that the communist government still has what they euphemistically call “neighborhood committees”. The organization chart and photos of the leader of these committees - by neighborhood!- were posted on a wall in the closest thing I could equate to a French “tabac”. You could buy a beer, a coke, a bottle of water, chips and maybe a couple other things in this place. Anyways, the cashier/bartender/shopkeep explained thatthe neighborhood citizens are watched by other neighbors. There are incentives given for reporting “bad behaviors”. One of the things frowned upon is accepting these kinds of goods- his very clear inference being that the very people acepting these goods could actually be getting themselves into trouble. This is what makes an NGO an extremely attractive option. Also, be advised that if you buy beer, soda or water in a glass bottle, don’t throw away the bottles- look for locals collecting them (they get the refund received when returning them to locations where they receive a coin or two for returning the bottles)
  12. hello, folks, I am considering a Monaco Grand Prix with Crystal Esprit; has anyone on this board experienced this event with Crystal? What was included, how did it go, your thoughts? I shall be grateful for any input you might share with me.:)
  13. hi everyone! I am new to SS, and wondering if any of you have attended the Monaco Grand Prix with SilverSea? If so, what did you think of the experience? Thank you....
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